Laser Skin Resurfacing Risks

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Any risk associated with laser skin resurfacing is very low, the treatment is not an invasive one and the local anaesthetic contains many fewer risks than a general anaesthetic used for other forms of surgery.  Usually the side effects of laser skin resurfacing are only temporary, all eventually fading or lessening in severity.  It is very important that you remember that everyone’s skin is different, and your skin can react to the treatment in many different ways.

Redness and discomfort

Following laser skin resurfacing your skin will appear slightly red, and it will feel as if you have had some mild sunburn.  Your skin might feel itchy or slightly sore for around three days, and after then your skin will start to peel off.  This is a normal reaction to the procedure, and so long as you regularly moisturise the skin, you ought to recover in around a week or two. 


Swelling following laser skin resurfacing is to be expected.  However if it continues for a long period of time or is very painful you ought to seek medical attention.  Your practitioner will be able to give you some advice about how best to deal with the swelling, including using a cold flannel over the affected area to ease the pain and sleeping with your head higher than normal. 

Altered pigmentation/Hyperpigmentation

The darker your skin tone the more likely you are to have some form of hyperpigmentation.  This is when your skins colour changes, either altogether or irregularly over the treated area. 


Although very rare, some scarring is possible following a laser skin rejuvenation procedure.  If you have previously suffered from keloid scarring you ought not to undertake the procedure as any scarring that might occur could prove very problematic and difficult to treat. 

The awakening of dormant viruses such as herpes and cold sores 

Usually your practitioner will provide you with anti-viral medication before your laser skin resurfacing to prevent this from occurring.    If this is the case you will need to continue with the medication for up to ten days following the procedure to ensure that no viruses re-occur.


Alike to anti-viral drugs, it is likely that your practitioner will give you some anti-bacterial medication to take before and after your laser skin resurfacing procedure.  This will help to prevent any infection from occurring.  It is also important that you regularly wash the treated area to prevent any infection from setting in.  If you do develop an infection it is important that you start to take anti-bacterial medication following a consultation with your practitioner.  They will want to keep an eye on your skin to ensure that the infection hasn’t caused and damage or prevented the healing process.  Antibiotics can quickly clear up small infections, but if yours lasts a long time it could grow to be quite large, and leave lasting damage.


These are very small white lumps that can appear within the treated area following laser skin resurfacing.  They don’t cause a problem, and can be removed by washing with a damp cloth. 

Laser skin resurfacing is more risky for certain people including those who have a dark skin tone, who scar easily or who have previously had skin resurfacing treatments.  If you have any concerns about the risks involved then you should bring them up during your consultation session.  It is possible that laser skin resurfacing is not the best treatment for you, and instead something else might be suggested.

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